MSF Updates Its Basic RiderCourse Curriculum

It is no surprise that statistics from the NHTSA show that motorcycle accidents and injuries are on the rise. According to the 2012 Motor Vehicle Crash report published by the NHTSA, motorcycle fatalities for that year rose to 4,957, up seven percent from 2011, while injuries increased 15% to 93,000. While the NHTSA statistics are misleading because the motorcycle category includes mopeds, scooters, three-wheelers, pocket bikes, mini bikes, and off-road vehicles, new riders need every advantage they can afford. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has taken notice of these statistics and has revised the curriculum for its Basic RiderCourse to include a new Basic eCourse, which students will take prior to in-person instruction.

Yamaha Trademarks “R1S” & “R1M” at USPTO – “YZF-R1M” Trademarked Abroad – But Why?

Are new Yamaha YZF-R1 models coming down the pipe? That’s the question being asked after trademark filings in the US and abroad tipped off Yamaha Motor’s intention to use “R1S”, “R1M”, and “YZF-R1M” for motorcycle, scooter, and three-wheeled purposes. The filings are being taken as hints towards a possible multiple trim levels of the Yamaha YZF-R1 superbike, with the “S” and “M” designations being different spec machines than the current base model. The “S” nomenclature is a popular one in the two and four-wheeled world, though “M” would certainly be a novel designation, outside of say…BMW.

Bell & COTA Create Texas-Themed Limited-Edition Helmet

Continuing its theme of making limited-edition helmets for premier-class US rounds, Bell Helmets has teamed up with the Circuit of the Americas and Chris Wood, of Airtrix, to create a Texas-themed Bell Star Carbon helmet, just in time for COTA’s MotoGP race next weekend. Available only until April 13th, the Bell/COTA helmet features a red, white, and blue flag motif on the front, with both the American and State of Texas flags visible, which then wrap around the rear to merge with a hardwood design, reminiscent of the floorboards in a Western saloon. The helmet is also crowned with a Longhorn cattle skull, which adds to the Texan motif. The specially designed helmet also features a horseshoe, the COTA logo, and the 2014 Red Bull MotoGP of The Americas logo.

Aprilia Mounting a Return to MotoGP in 2016

Towards the end of the 800cc era, MotoGP looked to be in dire condition. Grids were dwindling, factories were reducing their participation, and teams were in difficult financial straits indeed. By the end of 2011, there were just 17 full time entries, Suzuki was down to a single rider, and were about to pull out entirely for 2012. How different the situation looks today. In a recent interview with the official website, Aprilia Corse’s new boss Romano Albesiano gave a brief outline of their plans. The Italian factory will continue to work with the IODA Racing team for 2014 to collect data on the electronics and tires, which they will use as input on an entirely new project being worked on for 2016.

This Is Pretty Much What the Monster 800 Will Look Like

With the advent of the Ducati Monster 1200, it was only a matter of time before Ducati’s middleweight liquid-cooled “Monster 800″ would be spotted, and unsurprisingly the machines have a great deal in common. The one big difference seems to be that the 821cc Monster gets a double-sided swingarm, which has become Ducati’s new way of differentiating between its big and medium displacement models of the same machine, see entry for Ducati 899 Panigale. With the spied Ducati Monster 800 looking ready for primetime, and a pre-fall launch isn’t out of the question. Giving us an excellent glimpse into what the Ducati Monster 800 would look like, Luca Bar has again used his Photoshop skills to render up images of the still unreleased “baby” Monster.

Photos of the Mugen Shinden Ni sans Fairings

Given the competitive nature of the electric racing realm, its rare to see the big high-power bikes without their fairings, as teams are reluctant to reveal their secret sauce. Debuting the Mugen Shinden San this past weekend in Tokyo though, Team Mugen did just that, giving us a glimpse into the inner workings of the team’s 2013 race bike, the Mugen Shinden Ni. You don’t have to be an electron-head to get excited by these photos, as any race bike with a carbon fiber frame and swingarm is pretty drool-worthy, though the Shinden Ni’s carbon fiber battery enclosure does hide a great deal of the electric superbike’s geek factor. While the sheer size of the battery bike is impressive, it was expected when the Shinden was first announced.

Mugen Shinden San (神電 参) Electric Superbike Revealed

Mugen’s third purpose-built electric superbike for the Isle of Man TT, the Mugen Shinden San, has been revealed in Japan. Campaigning two machines for this year’s TT Zero race, Mugen has John McGuiness and Bruce Anstey at the helm of its “Shinden San” bikes, as the duo looks for a one-two finish in this year’s race. With MotoCzysz not racing at the Isle of Man this year, Mugen is a hot favorite to take the top podium spots, as well as crack the 110 mph barrier for electrics on the historic Snaefell Mountain Course (Mugen is targeting a 115 mph lap). An evolution on the company’s previous designs, the Shinden San fits 134hp — 10hp more than last year, thanks to a new smaller three-phase brushless motor provided by Mission Motors — into its 529lbs bulk.

Trackside Tuesday: The Winning Personality of Jack Miller

Chatting with a couple of NASCAR fans recently, I was reminded that any competition is boring if you don’t care who wins. But if you do care, then even cars driving around in circles can be very compelling entertainment. Those NASCAR fans really cared about how their favorite drivers finished, and not only how they finished in the latest race, but what and how those drivers were doing off the track as well. Those fans had been captured by the personalities of those drivers. One of the things NASCAR does well is sell personalities. All major sports-related businesses do this to some extent, but some organizations do it better than others.

Living the Dream – A Photographer’s Story: Qatar

Imagine if just for once you didn’t have to stick to your usual nine-to-five job. Instead you were able to do the one job you’ve always wanted to do, but any number of things (it’s usually money) have stood in the way. This is exactly the situation I found myself in six months ago when the company I had worked at, for the last 14 years, decided to close, making everyone redundant. This decision did not come as a surprise; in fact, I had been hanging around for the last few years hoping that it would happen, as I had a plan. Fast-forward six months and I have just finished photographing the opening round of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship in Qatar. The plan is starting to unfold.

Fuel or Electronics? Where Are Nicky Hayden & Scott Redding Losing Out on the Honda RCV1000R?

The news that Honda would be building a production racer to compete in MotoGP aroused much excitement among fans. There was much speculation over just how quick it would be, and whether it would be possible for a talented rider to beat the satellite bikes on some tracks. In the hands of active MotoGP riders, the gap was around 2 seconds at the Sepang tests. Nicky Hayden – of whom much had been expected, not least by himself – had made significant improvements, especially on corner entry. The difference in performance and the big gap to the front has been cause for much speculation. Where are the Honda production racers losing out to the Factory Option bikes?

Stories of Bike

08/06/2013 @ 7:04 pm, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

Stories of Bike stories of bike 635x357

“Stories of Bike is simply about the sharing stories of riders and their custom bikes. Motorbikes aren’t only a machine from which we derive a basic pleasure in riding, but rather something which connects us to many things: friends, family and our environment both urban and natural…It is these connections, these stories, I wish to share with your fellow riders,” writes Cam Elkin on the Stories of Bike website.

Based down under in Sydney, Australia and feeding of the area’s café racer scene, Elkin has put together a budding web series that focuses on individual motorcyclists and the unique machines they ride. It won’t take you long to realize that there is a clear moto-hipster vibe that’s going on with the Stories of Bike series, which to be honest gets old pretty quick if it’s not your thing (it’s not ours).

But, at the end of the day the video series is all about motorcyclists talking about their bikes, and the stories thus experienced from the saddle — so, what’s not to like about that? Five episodes deep so far, we have to say that the production and storytelling here is some of the best we’ve seen. Enjoy the episodes after the jump — we did, despite the skinny jeans.

Source: Stories of Bike via Return of the Cafe Racers


  1. emem says:

    I live in Sydney, and I hope get the chance to pull up next to these guys just so I can bitch slap them. I can’t give you a definitive answer as to why they make my blood boil, so until then I’ll stick to bitch slapping.

    I really wish this ‘culture’ would go away. Please make it go away.

    Can’t deny the quality of the films though.

  2. Jones says:

    Emem, why the bitch slap? Surely these blokes aren’t out to hurt anyone. They clearly like their bikes and are part of a culture that they enjoy.

    Is it because they’re young and they (well some of them) embrace a style that was in its peak decades before they were born that they were not really a part of?

    Who cares.

    I reckon people just need to get past a whole “hipster” mislabelling thing and appreciate the fact that these guys do what they can with what little money they have to ride bikes.

    If you can’t appreciate that, then you’ve missed the whole point of motorcycling.

  3. Gutterslob says:

    Some of it does seem a bit “poser” in places, I suppose, but it’s nowhere near as offensive and intelligence-insulting as what I see on American Chopper TV and Co.

  4. paulus says:

    cheap bikes, having fun, enjoying the ride… well done!

  5. Pietro says:

    Hell…at least they’re riding, but they definitely need better looking helmets. AGV anyone?

  6. Dan says:

    Gutterslob, well said.

    The hipster scene, much like the grunge scene from which it sprang, is very played out. Like anything that started out unique, it now has it’s sheep that follow the next trend. My only beef is seeing really nice classic bikes being hacked into oblivion. sad to see them go. I recently sold a CB350 on Craigslist. I posted it in the Portland and Eugene listings and had a dozen offers in 24 hours, some offering cash sight unseen. I sold the bike for double what I paid for it, but felt better knowing it was going to a “normal” guy with ambitions of restoration. Just can’t stand to see one more classic hacked up for a poser at the coffee shop. Cafe’ racers and bobbers are ok, just overplayed.

  7. Shawn says:

    I don’t understand why people (like emem above) feel the need to bitch about a segment of motorcyclists. Especially one that doesn’t even give other motorcyclists a bad name. In my experience 90% of motorcyclists are posers. Guys with supersports and faster who have never turned a wheel on a track, often riding around in sandals and t-shirts and often in a way that makes the general public hate us. When a reckless motorcyclists does 300 kph on public roads (like that guy in BC), it makes the cops and John Q Public want to limit our access to motorcycles. A guy on a badly running Honda Hawk with an ironic mustache and a Bell Star helmet doing 5 under the limit doesn’t get much hate, relatively. Same goes for an HD rider in sleeves with a super loud exhaust. They annoy the hell out of the public and get the rest of us unwarranted negative attention too. Or the BMW 1200GS (or dualsport/adventure) guys at starbucks. All of these groups are posers. At least the hipsters are interested in motorcycles, and when they get older/more experienced they may find a life-long love of motorcycles, or not. If any of these “posers” get you mad enough to want to bitch slap them, or as another comment on another post at A&R has suggested, clothesline them, then you’ve probably got a problem, not them. I’m willing to bet dollars to donuts that someone wants to bitch slap emem for his behavior.

    Full disclosure: I ride an 09 KLR, and definitely do not go off road as often as it’s capable of doing, but I don’t cruise starbucks either.

  8. TRL says:


    Because its not about the bike as an experience, it’s about the bike/open face helmet/tattoos/watch/hair/flannel/skinny jeans/beer as a lifestyle accessory. A personal definition based on appearance instead of substance (too bad because some of these guys seem to have some skill). Same as the Harley boomers. If it was about the bikes (and there is nothing wrong with the resto craze, I love seeing the new takes on the bikes of my youth) they would put on a proper set of tires. Thats the dividing line for me. No reason to put crap tires on a bike you plan to ride unless its a restoration. Like everything else watch the wheels, not the driver….

    hipster: person with a particular appearance purchased from a store that contains a conglomeration of neo-agricultural-neo-industrial styles from other stores that sell to people who do actual labor, like Farm and Fleet , or Walmart, that the hipster would never actually set foot in…plus facial hair.

    These guys will be gone with the next fad, just like the Harley boomers are transitioning to fancy bicycles.., and then the’ll tell their kids what outlaws the were, instead of telling them about how much fun it was to hang out and ride with their friends…

    But with only 5% of the U.S. population riding. There’s more than enough room for everyone. I just hope my daughter doesn’t decide she likes one…

  9. Norm G. says:

    re: “But with only 5% of the U.S. population riding.”

    5%…? we wish.

  10. Daniel Aldo says:

    I don’t know. I just can’t listen to these dudes talk. They are boring. Art is cool, and I like jean jackets and all, but the content of these videos and their Thomas Crown affair rip off editing, general non-excitement about life, and dialogue that makes my conversations with my Grandma seem exciting, makes me want to get a Goldwing and not associate with these 5D wheeling, follow focus, clay molded mouth breathers. Cool has become boring, which sucks. I’m really not comfortable with being uncool, but just need to separate from all of “this”. I just wish they would shave their beards, because I like mine.

    Long time reader, first time poster. Cheers brah, keep killing it with your outstanding coverage and great relation with the other top blog by Emmett.

  11. emem says:

    I was expecting most of these comments as it’s nigh on impossible to discuss or theorise on a comments section.

    I asked myself these same questions but it came down to this:

    If you asked these guys to ride without the image that goes with it, I doubt they would keep on riding.

    Similar to TRL’s conclusion.

    I’ve watched Deus from inception to the hugely successful brand it is now, and they are selling the essence of motorcycling to the masses. People who would not normally be associated with motorcycling buy into it because they want to be cool by association.

    Next time I’ll think twice about hitting the play button I think!

  12. Hipsters are what keep me in business. And, most of them are really a great bunch of guys. At least they ride! I like what Shawn says… you are right everyone on a motorcycle has a click or something they feel the need to “belong.” I am not a cruiser guy but I can imagine myself wearing my AGV Rossi helmet with my Icon leather on a Harley, that would get peoples pannies in a bunch. hahaha.

  13. Sam Adams says:


    You hit the nail on the head…Hard.